When you think of a developer, you may imagine a smooth-talker looking to transform suburbia into a city skyline. Or maybe you picture a big business trying to maximize profits by pumping out low quality products. One thing is for certain, you likely don’t think of a genuine, mother of two, with a love of design and real estate. Co-founder of Maison, Melanie Smith, certainly breaks the mould in her industry. She developed her career gradually by putting it all on the line to create beautiful homes that perfectly complement Victoria’s most sought after neighbourhoods. Not only is she incredibly knowledgeable, professional and hands-on, she is also warm and approachable: traits you don’t expect to find in her field.
Here we asked Melanie to answer a speed round of questions to help get to know one
of the key players behind Maison.
Your days must be jam-packed, are you a night owl or an early bird?
I’m definitely an early bird. By 9 pm I’m done, drooling and delirious. 10 is like a party night for me!
What is your favourite thing to do with your kids when you can get the whole family together?
We do a lot of laughing! The activity isn’t so important we just make sure that we’re all having serious fun together. In our house this shouldn’t involve a competition or game where someone wins…..badminton for example in our backyard can be quite something to witness!
What is the most fun part of the work you do?
Whoa, that’s tough but I’d have to say the deal. Finding the properties is my number one thrill. There is a lot of digging, turning stones, and networking. I like the thrill of the hunt! Second would be the design of a new home. I LOVE creating a feel,theme and style.
And the most challenging?
Building is such a human driven industry with virtually no automation and that can be a challenge. People are humans - they change, evolve, they make mistakes. The flip side of that is that people have ideas, innovation, motivation, and experiences that make the process so rewarding. To foster the growth of the team and build a culture of your own - that’s big!
What is your favourite way to de-stress?
I love listening to affirmations and meditations - it just feels so damn good after!
Are you planning any holidays this summer?
This year's holiday destination?
Summer is so busy for me with the projects that it’s hard to get away. We are planning on “glamping” for 3 days on Pender Island at ‘Woods on Pender' which was recommended by a dear friend. My daughter and friends may come and sleep in the adjoining large tent. Stay tuned for my review. Should be fun!
What is your favourite country or city to travel to?
London - I love it.
What is one item that you cannot live without?
Definitely my Starbucks almond milk latte with 1 pump of vanilla
What do you miss most about home when you are away?
The familiarity….I love coming back to the routine, the neighbourhood, the ocean smell of Victoria, the lifestyle. It just takes going away to realize how lucky we are to live here!
What is your favourite room in the house and why?
The living room or family room. I love gathering rooms that feel welcoming. I think that when you get the mix right people just want to go there and stay there to read a book, watch a movie, or cozy up. There’s too much work to be done in the kitchen!
One room you would love to de-clutter?
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I have a thing about popcorn from the theatre. Let me put it this way: I go to a lot of movies and it’s not about the shows!
Are they any books you have read again and again?
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. I’m also currently reading Difficult Conversations along with everyone on the Maison Team. I have a feeling it will be one of those too.